Dec. 18, 2011
SAN ANTONIO - Rice sophomore standout Chelsea Fong won the 200-freestyle with one of the best marks in school history (1:49.88) to pace the Owl swim team on the second day of action at the University of Incarnate Word Christmas Invitational Sunday evening in San Antonio, Tex.
With her sixth win in the 200-freestyle this season Fong has been a frequent visitor to the top spot on the medal stand, but Sunday's performance was her best yet. The Owls' second-year standout from Cupertino, Calif., blazed to a career-best 1:49.88 in the championship final to win the event over starting field of 36 entrants. The 1:49.88 is the fifth-fastest time in the history of the program and the best by an Owl in almost three years.
Fong's victory led a sizable Rice scoring barrage in the 200-free as a total of five Owls went on to finish in the Top 12. Freshman Erin Flanigan finished third overall after holding the event's top seed with a 1:51.10 in the morning prelims. Alison Godbe was fifth with a season-best 1:53.24 while Danielle Spence (1:53.24) and Nicole Delaloye (1:55.56) were 11th and 12th, respectively.
The Owls also had a solid individual showing from senior Alex O'Brien in the 400-individual medley. The St. Paul, Minn., native finished third after a 4:26.11 in the morning prelims.
Sophomore Michelle Gean and freshman Casey Clark were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 100-backstroke after posting a pair of season-bests of 57.05 and 57.52. Junior Stephanie Wei notched a season-best 59.15 to take 12th place.
Freshman Rachel Moody
swam a 1:06.40 to win the consolation finals of the 100-breaststroke. Freshman Madison Livingston
tallied a season-best 1:06.60 to take 10th while senior Shelby Bottoms
was 12th after a 1:07.31 in the prelims.
Rice turned the individual efforts into relays with a scoring punch. Gean, Bottoms, Clark and Fong teamed to take third in the 200-medley relay with a season-best 1:44.68. The Owls' all-freshman foursome of Clark, Flanigan, Livingston and Marissa Konicke finished second overall in the 800-free relay with a time of 7:32.34. Note the all-freshmen relay defeated an Owl senior foursome of O'Brien, Godbe, Delaloye and Bottoms, who were fifth with a 7:37.04.
The three-day Invitational concludes on Monday (Dec. 19) at the Palo Alto College Natatorium in San Antonio. Monday's action begins with preliminary races at 10 am. Championship finals are set for 4 pm. Monday's list of events are as follows:
Monday, Dec. 19, Schedule
400-yard Freestyle Relay